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Hezbollah secured the support from a majority of parliament Monday to nominate its candidate for prime minister, putting the Iranian-backed militant group in position to control Lebanon's new government.
Billionaire businessman Najib Mikati, a moderate politician and former premier, was set to clinch the nomination after Hezbollah and its allies got the needed backing of at least 65 of the 128 parliament members as voting on the candidate began Monday.
TRIPOLI, Lebanon — More than 500 people gathered on Monday in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli to denounce the impending appointment of Hezbollah-backed candidate Najib Mikati as prime minister.
Supporters of acting Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose government collapsed earlier this month, gathered in a town square chanting "Out with Najib!" and "Hezbollah, party of the devil!" as gunshots were heard in the area, an AFP correspondent said.
The demonstrators vowed they would return in force on Tuesday at the urging of local Sunni Muslim sheikhs.
The billionaire Mikati, a native of Tripoli, was tipped to replace Saudi-backed Hariri after Hezbollah and its allies named him on Monday as their candidate for the premiership.
Hariri, a popular Sunni leader, has said he would not take part in a government headed by a candidate chosen by the Shiite militant group.
The appointment of a Hezbollah-backed premier has sparked fears within the international community, notably Israel, of Iran gaining further influence in Lebanon and has prompted comparisons with Gaza, ruled by the Islamist group Hamas.
Iranian-backed Hezbollah on January 12 brought down Hariri's pro-Western government after a long-running dispute over a UN-backed tribunal probing the 2005 murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, Saad's father.
Hezbollah, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Washington, had been pressing Hariri to disavow the tribunal, which it believes will implicate Hezbollah members.
7:34am MP Elie Marouni to VDL (100.5): We all know that the new cabinet would not abide by its international commitments and bring back faces from the Syrian era. We hope Hariri would be the premier tomorrow.
U.S. may cut economic ties with Lebanon if Hezbollah-linked PM chosen (Haaretz)
8:32am MP Oqab Saqr to VDL (100.5): Miqati’s nomination shouldn’t have come this way. Hariri has the exclusive right to be Lebanon’s premier.
MK Ben-Ari: Leak of Mideast negotiations documents proves no chance for peace with Arabs (Haaretz)
Iran fully to blame for nuke talks failure: France
Gemayel: Syria is seeking to take control of Lebanon with the help Hezbollah
Hariri refuses to join govt led by Hezbollah named PM
Hariri: any talk of a compromise candidate is an attempt to throw dust in the eyes
Israel's Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom has said that the formation of a Lebanese government led by Hizbullah would be a "very, very dangerous development."
Hariri: There is no consensus candidate to head the government and refuse to take part in the government led by the March 8
Hariri seen leaving the Presidential compound
Mikati (Hezbollah candidate) arrives at the Presidential compound
Hizbollah nominated Mikati: "hariri should join hands for the sake of lebanon"
Future Movement official Mustafa Allouch told MTV on Monday that any premier named by Hezbollah will be submissive to the party and its conditions.
Sfeir: Situation in Lebanon reached “dangerous intersection”
Geagea to Nasrallah: You are waging war on the 70% - 80% of the Sunni community?
geagea : "the people remain attached to the cedar revolution"
1:39pm LF leader Samir Geagea in an open letter to Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah: We urge you to become part of the judicial process like us in order to find the killers of Rashid Karami and Bashir Gemayel.
Sarkozy: France is mobilised on Lebanon and is making every effort to resolve the political crisis
Siniora: we will not participate in a Mikati government
Siniora: We want a mutual respect between all parties to face Israel.
protestors rioting in Ramallah - trying to smash the Al Jazeera offices after the leaked papers
BREAKING: parliamentary consultations to name the next PM have been stopped
3:15pm MP Jumblat told Agence France Presse that Miqati has secured a majority number of votes to head the next Cabinet. "It's Miqati for sure," he added.
4:04pm OTV: A shooting took place at the Baranieh neighborhood in Tripoli over the hanging of posters of former PM Miqati.
4:07pm The Mustaqbal bloc denied to NBN that it was behind the incident at Tripoli over the hanging of a poster for Miqati. Army units immediately headed to the scene and deployed throughout the city to control the situation.
4:17pm Jumblat and the six accompanying MPs voted for Miqati to head the premiership. He also announced the end of the Democratic Gathering and the formation of the National Struggle Front.
The residents of Dinniyeh blocked some main roads in the region in protest over Hizbullah’s tactics against the Sunni sect in Lebanon
Large number of people gathering in the streets of tripoli in support of Hariri
MTV: Tires have been set on fire in Tripoli and a number of cities in Akkar
Qalamoun highway connecting Tripoli to Beirut has been blocked by Hariri supporters
Hezbollah wins enough votes to name new Lebanon PM
Hariri supporters say they believe the military will defend them
Turkey says it's complying with UN sanctions against Iran (AP)
Lebanese Druze leader backs Najib Mikati, giving him majority to lead gov't (Reuters)
Hariri backers call for 'day of anger' after Hezbollah wins support to name new Lebanon PM (Reuters)
high security area declared around the home of President Najib Mikati in Tripoli
5:39pm MTV: The security forces have cordoned off Miqati’s residence in Tripoli and there is information that Syrian Socialist National Party members have gone on alert.
fire near Lebanese university in tripoli
MTV: gatherings in Iqlim al-Kharroub in the Shouf region and the Barja-Jiyyeh road has been blocked with tires.
protests around the center of the Syrian National Party
6:01pm Popular gatherings protesting Miqati’s nomination spread to Sidon and the Iqlim al-Kharroub towns.
Mikati statement : calls on the people of Tripoli to be wise and his supporters not to get dragged into emotions
Word is there will be larger protests tomorrow in Tripoli
Army deploying heavily in Beirut
Alloush: If March 8 Candidate Wins, He'll Find Himself in a Confrontation with the International Community
Not final vote...but final vote for today : 59 miqati - 49 hariri (they need 65)
Gunfire in Barja & Tripoli
strike in tripoli planned for tomorrow to protest against mikati
More roads closed by pro-hariri protestors south of Beirut (Ketermeya) and in North Lebanon (Kalamon)
OTV: riots in Tripoli
Roads blocked by Hariri supporters in Cola and Tariq Al Jdide sections of Beirut
coastal road Al Jiyeh- Barja is blocked by Hariri supporters
March 14 planning large protest in downtown Beirut tonight
Mustafa Alloush announces open-ended strike and sit-ins starting tomorrow
Heavy deployment of the lebanese army in the Mar Elias Street
protests expanding in Dahieh
Protests in Hezbollah stronghold Dahieh
ALERT: Beirut Airport Road (Madine Riyadiye/Jnah) closed
Aloush calls upon all Lebanese to protest until Hariri is announced PM again
Stones thrown at cars on the Beirut-Khaldeh-Na'meh highway
MP Kbara: Insulting the Sunnis is not allowed, tomorrow is public anger day
Army trying to open up roads
a large pro Hariri demonstration planned in Nour Square Tripoli, 10AM tomorrow
Lebanese army deploying in large numbers to control situation
MP Khaled Daher: We call on those who reject the Persian scheme in this defiant Arab country to stage a sit-in tomorrow at 10:00 a.m
judge of the Criminal Court this morning issued Lebanese Order of impeachment against Najib Mikati
Cars burning in downtown Beirut
Foreign journalists asked to take shelter for their own safety in Beirut
NBN: March 14 members detaining people
NBN: some people are being held as hostages
NBN: Riots and random gun fire in Khalde
Reports of armed and masked men on the streets- reports of firing
random shooting at supporters of the future movement in Khaldeh
Hezbollah, armed out in force in Beirut.
Army forces out in the street
Hariri supporters: Hezbollah is carrying out an Iran-backed coup of Lebanon
clashes reported in Beirut
Lebanese forces and Mustaqbal (hariri party) is out n the streets in zahle
heavy gunfire in Mazraa (Beirut)
MTV: Karami backs Hariri against Mikati
NBN: Sources close to ex-PM Karami denied that his supporters have sided with Hariri’s supporters
NowLeb: protesters are holding signs reading: "Where is my vote?"
albaladfrench reporting confrontation between Sabra residents & Future Movement at Tariq el Jdideh
Hezbollah rally in Baalbeck
Reports of Jumblatt pictures being burnt by his own party members!
NBN: Mustaqbal supporters are trying to block the al-Mazraa highway while the army is trying to prevent them
Army reinforcing their positions and numbers all across the country
Hariri supporters burning tires and stoning cars in Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon, and Bekaa
NBN: army chief warns protesters
8:24pm NBN: MP Khaled Daher is roaming the Akkar areas in an armed motorcade and inciting citizens to protest.
8:45pm The Army Command warned in a statement against messing with security and violating the rules of peaceful protest
Commercial planes are still landing in Lebanon.
Army using tear gas
Protesters throw rocks at the army, getting more violent
Minister of State Ogassapian from downtown #Beirut: We will not accept anyone for PM except Saad
Egyptian opposition hopes for Tunisia-style protests
MTV: Tripoli municipality chief announces closing of all municipality offices in the city on Tuesday because of protests
Future Movement denies its supporters carried weapons
Attempts to attack the Army in many areas
Arab and Western embassies have warned their citizens of possible deterioration of the situation in Lebanon, asking them to take caution
Army APC's (Armoured personnel carrier) moving in the streets
The lawmakers drafted a statement which said, "Hizbullah is instigating a coup in an attempt to bring the office of prime minister under Iranian control. Anyone who receives an appointment of prime minister from Hizbullah will be considered a traitor."'
UNCONFIRMED REPORT: Israeli troops entering Lebanon
Lebanese army: Israeli troops cross the fence a couple of minutes and then went back
Lebanese Army: an Israeli patrol crossed the technical fence in the Kafr Shuba area & then withdrew
Washington warns of the repercussions of a growing role for Hezbollah in Lebanon
Arab embassies plan to issue a warning to prevent its citizens from traveling to Lebanon, and they are considering the possibility of evacuation of citizens who are in Beirut, Lebanon
Albalad news: Oppostion (hizbollah and allies) says it will not respond in anyway because it is the armys job to protect the security of the citizens
Future- Tripoli: Hizbullah's moves intolerable precedent
US Embassy in Beirut issues warden notice advising US citizens to be alert and vigilant about personal security
Bahraini foreign ministry warns its citizens in Lebanon about the situation
New tv: Explosion heard in Tripoli
CAIRO – Egyptians planned to mark a holiday honoring the much-feared police with protests on Tuesday, spreading the word through Twitter and Facebook, where 80,000 Egyptians have posted their support.
Inspired by the popular revolt in Tunisia, organizers have dubbed the protests planned for Cairo and Alexandria "the day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment."
Made in Syria
The Syrian leadership reportedly informed the envoys of Hezbollah and Amal of its decision to nominate Mikati Saturday night, according to local reports .
MTV reported last Saturday that Hussein Khalil, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s political aide and MP Ali Hassan Khalil , Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri’s political aide headed to Damascus , Syria secretly Saturday afternoon to meet with the country’s officials.
According to reports the Hezbollah led opposition had requested Mikati to agree to implement a five-point plan before agreeing to Syria’s decision to name him as their premiership candidate
The five point plan calls for:
1- Withdrawing the cooperation protocol between Lebanon and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon STL) .
2- Withdrawing the Lebanese judges from the STL
3- Halting the funding of the tribunal
4- Referring the false witnesses file to the Lebanese judiciary council
5- Bolstering Lebanese-Syrian ties
7:37am MP Alain Aoun to VDL (100.5): Sectarian incitement is like playing with fire. There is a democratic process that the March 14 forces should abide by.
7:25am MP Samir Jisr to VDL (93.3): We responded to the people’s demands and annouced a strike today. People expressed their anger because they witnessed a coup.
Egyptians inspired by Tunisia riots plan to demonstrate Tuesday to protest corruption (AP)
IAEA chief: We cannot be sure Iran isn't developing nuclear weapons (AP)
U.S. official: Palestine papers may make an already bad situation worse (AP)
Voice of Lebanon (100.5): Lebanese army units deployed in force along the coastal highway from Naameh to Saida
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Monday announced the end of his Democratic Gathering parliamentary bloc, after four MPs of the 11-member gathering decided not to back his candidate for the premiership.
Following binding consultations with President Michel Suleiman at the Baabda Palace on naming a new PM, Jumblat said that his bloc will now be renamed to the National Struggle Front.
9:47am MTV: Masses gather at al-Nour square on “day of rage.”
10:04am MP Mohammed al-Hajjar to VDL (100.5): The gatherings are spontaneous. Participants at the “day of rage” in Tripoli should abide by the law.
10:07am MP Elie Marouni to VDL (100.5): We hope that Suleiman would be the arbiter to prevent a civil strife.
10:18am MP Ahmed Fatfat to Future News: The international tribunal would be cancelled only on our dead bodies.
President Michel Sleiman begins second day of consultations on PM nomination at Baabda Palace
Speaker Nabih Berri has called for a national salvation government in which parties from across the political spectrum would take part.
"A national salvation cabinet in which everyone takes part without exception should assume its national responsibilities in confronting fateful challenges," Berri told As Safir daily in remarks published Tuesday.
Berri circles told An Nahar newspaper that his AMAL movement and Hizbullah agreed not to confront al-Mustaqbal movement supporters on the streets, stressing that the Lebanese army should deal with the situation.
10:35am Miqati: Hariri is like a brother to me and we are members of the same sect. No one can create differences between us.
10:33am Miqati on behalf of the Tadamon bloc at Baabda palace: I urge Tripoli residents to exercise self-restraint and not be dragged into any clash.
10:38am MP Hadi Hbeish to OTV: The March 14 forces have expressed their opinion democratically on all occasions. We never objected to the March 8’s resort to the street peacefully. We only objected to armed presence on streets.
10:48am NBN: Al-Mustaqbal protestors forced shop owners in Tariq al-Jdideh to shut down.
10:54am Al-Jadid: Gun shots were heard in the area of Cola-Cornish al-Mazraa.
10:57am MTV: Protestors blocked the road at Sidon’s entrance with burning tires.
11:00am VDL (93.3): The Qab Elias road was blocked with burning tires.
11:02am Al-Manar: Al-Mustaqbal postponed its sit-in in Tripoli for more than an hour because of lack of crowds.
11:04am Al-Jadid: The road was blocked at the Cite Sportive.
11:06am MP Ahmed Kabbara: From Tripoli I announce a day of rage against the Syrian-Iranian interference in our internal affairs.
11:17am The Lebanese army is trying to open the road at Tariq al-Jdideh.
AFP: Najib Mikati clinches winning majority of 65 MP votes for PM nomination.
11:18am Al-Mustaqbal official Mustafa Alloush on the day of rage: The Faqih rule soldier is seeking to impose his own leader. We won’t let Lebanon be moved to Persia.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon's acting deputy spokesperson rejected to comment on attempts by the Hizbullah-led alliance to form a new government in Lebanon, saying cabinet formation should be done through dialogue.
Hezbollah-backed candidate former Prime Minister Najib Mikati clinches majority for premiership, as Lebanese parliamentarians headed for the second day of consultations to elect the country's new prime minister.
Army units broke up a demonstration on the main road in Siblin in Iqlim al-Kharroub by force on Tuesday morning, NOW Lebanon’s correspondent reported.
The army units beat Future Movement supporters, the correspondent quoted eyewitnesses as saying.
Al-arabiya: Heavy clashed between protestors and Army in central beirut
Media outlets in Beirut and North Lebanon are being attacked.
11:46am Protesters set ablaze a vehicle that belongs to Al-Jadid TV.
Reports of journalist beaten up in Beirut an Tripoli!!
11:39am Pro-Hariri protesters attacked a car that belongs to Al-Jazeera television channel.
Hariri demonstrators attacked the office of member of parliament Safadi
UK official off record : Lebanon has fallen into the abyss
shooting is heard in Kornish Al-Mazraa and Barbour
Army shoots in the air to scare protesters in Beirut.
Khaled al-Daher from Tripoli via LBC: There is a coup exercised by force of arms to conquer all the Lebanese , and we demand Prime Minister Mikati not to be the candidate of the “party of arms.
Mikati to the US: I am the most appropriate candidate